The U.S. and European governments are moving toward a consensus on taxing large banks to cover the cost of any future bailouts rather than asking taxpayers to foot the bill, as happened regularly in past banking crises.
The tax proposals vary. Germany and Sweden would use the money to fund a “resolution authority” that would use the money to shut troubled banks whose failure would put the broader economy at risk. Others, such as France, would assess the fee after a crisis passed.
The U.S. is split. Congress is moving toward imposing a levy to build a fund before a crisis. The Obama administration favours the post-crisis option, a difference that will be worked out as financial-regulation legislation moves through Congress.